Sales Appointment Basics
Learning to Sell | Lesson 2

Permission to Contact and Initial Contact

Before contacting a potential client, CMS requires agents to obtain permission to contact before making that outreach.

Let’s take a moment to break down this compliance requirement.

As a rule, agents may not market Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plans with an unsolicited telephone call.

The agent must receive, from the client, permission to contact the client before calling them.

This permission to contact (PTC) can come in many forms; like getting an email from the client requesting a call, receiving a call from the client, or even getting a business reply card from a lead mailer.

This permission is event specific and shouldn’t be treated as open-ended permission for future contact.

For example, if you got a business reply card six months ago, but never reached out to the client, you should obtain a new permission to contact prior to making outreach.

Agents can make unsolicited contact through direct mail and email, but your emails must have an opt-out option.

You can also make unsolicited contact to clients who submit enrollment applications to follow-up on matters related to enrollment — like confirming they’ve received their ID cards and follow-up calls to ensure their plan is meeting their needs.

It is important to note that in addition to needing to follow CMS’ rules regarding beneficiary contact, other rules and requirements would apply — such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, known as the TCPA, and the CAN-SPAM Act.

Once you receive that permission to contact, you may reach out to introduce yourself and your business as well as schedule a full Medicare sales appointment.

During your introduction, focus on the service you provide to client.

You want to help them answer the questions “why are your services valuable to the prospect” and “how does working with you benefit them?”

And of course, use this as a starting place to get to know your potential client and their needs — something we’ll talk about more a bit later.

Before we wrap up the conversation, I want to take a moment to mention the Scope of Appointment or SOA.

This is a document that must be signed by a prospect and agent before beginning an individual sales appointment to draw that prospect to a specific plan or group of plans.

Depending on your sales process, you may find it helpful to collect an SOA during this initial introduction.

In fact, if you use our Shop & Enroll sales platform, there is a contact form that combines permission to contact and SOA in one form.

We’ll talk more about the SOA later in this module, so stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, you may be thinking “I’ve scheduled a meeting with my client, but where should I start?”

Head over to the next lesson for find out!

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